The Essential Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show

The Essential Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show


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The problem with assembling a definitive Dr. Hook collection is twofold. First, there's the simple fact that they had their hits at two different labels, spending the first part of the '70s at Columbia and the latter half at Capitol. To top it off, the band changed considerably during those two eras, beginning as the ramshackle, Shel Silverstein-singing, goofy bar-band hippies of Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show and ending as the swanky, leisure-suited crooners Dr. Hook. Each era has its partisans, with a mere handful of listeners liking both, and because of this, each label-specific collection has endured criticism for not containing the other. It could be easy to level that argument against Columbia/Legacy's 2003 The Essential Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show, since it primarily covers the Columbia recordings, with the exception of the 1975 cover of Sam Cooke's "Only Sixteen," which was their first hit for Capitol, and 1976's "A Little Bit More," one of their biggest hits. This leaves out many latter-day hits -- "Sharing the Night Together," "Better Love Next Time," "When You're in Love With a Beautiful Woman," "Sexy Eyes," and "Baby Makes Her Blue Jeans Talk" -- most of which are on Capitol's 2002 Classic Masters collection, and shines the focus on the group's first two albums, which were nearly entirely written by Silverstein, including the hits "Cover of the Rolling Stone," "Sylvia's Mother," and "Carry Me Carrie." There are also two tracks, "Life Ain't Easy" and "You Ain't Got the Right," from the 1973 album Belly Up!, along with some sharp selection of album tracks, which make for a good, entertaining sampling of the band at its early-'70s peak. (Recommended further listening: check out Raven's I Got Stoned and I Missed It: The Best from Shel Silverstein 1971-1979, which was released just a few months later and covers the band's loose-limbed, cheerfully rowdy sense of humor in more detail.)

Product Details

Release Date: 09/30/2003
Label: Sony
UPC: 0696998681323
catalogNumber: 86813

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